Toni

TONI has often been called the first "neorealist" film, preceding Luchino Visconti's OSSESSIONE by seven years; since the Italian director was one of Jean Renoir's assistants on the project, its influence on his work seems clear. Basing his film on police files dealing with an incident that occurred in the small town of Les Martigues, Renoir, seeking authenticity,...read more

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TONI has often been called the first "neorealist" film, preceding Luchino Visconti's OSSESSIONE by seven years; since the Italian director was one of Jean Renoir's assistants on the project, its influence on his work seems clear. Basing his film on police files dealing with an incident

that occurred in the small town of Les Martigues, Renoir, seeking authenticity, brought his crew to that town and used its citizens as characters. The story centers on Toni (Charles Blavette), an Italian laborer who falls in love with his landlady (Jenny Helia) and then with a Spanish woman,

Josepha (Celia Montalvan). After receiving permission from Josepha's father to marry her, Toni discovers that she has been raped by a sleazy foreman, whom Josepha ends up marrying, eventually deserts, and accidentally kills. Not surprisingly, Toni takes the blame. An insightful portrayal of

male-female relationships and a skillful rendering of its near-pulp novel plot (again predating Visconti's adaptation of James M. Cain), TONI is nonetheless far from perfect, riddled with numerous technical weaknesses and some seemingly improvised direction. Still, it is clearly one of Renoir's

important technical experiments.

<em>Altered Carbon;</em> <em>Schitt's Creek;</em> <em>Sherlock</em>
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